As an expert entomologist formerly with RHS Wisley, Andrew Halsted gave a smashing illustrated look at the Private Lives of Ladybirds. Very informative, we saw a plethora of beetles varying from all black (e.g. Larch Ladybird) to what we normally expect a ladybird to look like, red with spots (the number of which can vary enormously). So, if you think a beetle looks like a ladybird, it very likely is! It will almost certainly be beneficial helping to rid your plants of aphids.
One helpful tip to differentiate cabbage white eggs from ladybird eggs – the former are dimpled like a hand grenade, the latter are smooth. Remove the first; nurture the second!
Andrew brought along some ladybirds for us to see:
Eve entered a cheeky flower arrangement in a cider can (sadly you cannot see all of the can in my picture!). Her entry, along with the rest of the monthly competition entries, are on the Past Events page: https://sadga.wordpress.com/events/